Friday, August 24, 2012

Quotes and Cookies: "Yes" burning inside.

I've had a lot of deadlines lately. And the glorious thing about crazy busy deadlines is, they set your schedule for you. They lodge themselves firmly in your #1 Priority spot. And then they tend to shove everything in #2 spot off the list. And sometimes even kick out the priorities in #'s  3, 4, 5, 6.... sometimes even 10 or more. (Okay, maybe that's a less glorious part...)

But for the first time in forever, I don't have anything due in the next couple of weeks. Like all of us, I have tons to do. More than I could ever get done. But I have so much to do, I can't figure out where to start. Without a deadline, it looks like I stirred up all the things I need to do in a giant bowl, and just dumped it on my priority list. Over the last couple of days, I sit down to work on my list, and don't have a clue what to do! So I grab something at the edge, mess around for a bit, then grab something else on the list and mess around some more. Am I doing the most important things? I have no idea! Probably not!

I've been thinking a lot about what is most important lately. And about how, if that list of priorities isn't made, it's likely the most important thing won't get done. And then I was thinking about how Steven Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) died recently, and how I've been wanting to do one of his quotes. I looked up a list of his top ten quotes, and this gem was on it:


You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

~Stephen Covey


Were the things I was grabbing from the edges good? Of course! Otherwise I wouldn't have been doing them! (Well, except the messing around part. That was plain and simple wasting time.) But were they the "best?" I'm pretty sure not.

I don't know about you guys, but when I get that jumble of a mess prioritized, where the best is at the top, those things gain a big enough "yes" burning inside, that it's easier to keep them where they belong on the list.

*Raises cookie* Here's to getting that list figured out!

kimberlykv at http://flickr.com/photos/87542849@N00/4643536339 cc-by-2.0
Do you have your priorities list figured out pretty well, or is it a jumbled mess like mine is? If you've got it figured out, CONGRATS! Have an awesome weekend! If you don't, let's shed a few tears together, then let's get this puppy in order! And then let's have an awesome weekend, too. :)



A huge thanks to Becky Povich for the Reader Appreciation award!

29 comments:

Cristina said...

my list is usually a complete mess, and I just do whatever is pulling at me at that moment. Some things I put off and put off and out off, until the very last possible moment and then I curse myself for not doing it earlier.. yet, I don't learn the lesson, LOL

thanks for the cookie, YUM!

Valerie Hartman said...

List makers of the world unite! Priorities are absolutely essential to living a deliberate life rather than bouncing between a myriad of obligations and time-wasters. So appropriate that you chose chocolate chip cookies to visually anchor this important concept.

As for me, priorities are looking so much clearer with the passing of summer and the approach of the school year. Way to highlight how to be effective as we begin to buckle down after enjoying summer days/daze. ;)

S.P. Bowers said...

Awesome post and quote! Right now my list is fairly simple, for the moment. I'm trying not to look around and remember all the other things that should be on it.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am joining the listmakers' list. My list is long. Wondering how many items of the list I will complete.

Shell Flower said...

I was totally thinking of Covey when I read your first paragraph. Awesome. I am half-way good at prioritizing, but I let other people talk me into things I probably shouldn't "waste" time on. Oh well. Cookies are a big priority :)

Amanda Olivieri said...

Oh, I NEED to make a list every day, otherwise I get absolutely nothing done. Seriously, lol. And I love that quote! It's so, so true. Sometimes it's hard to prioritize because everything seems important or "good". It's usually the harder, more time-consuming things that are "great", though, and need the most attention.

Thanks so much for sharing, Peggy! And YUM, chocolate chip is my favorite :D

Lauren said...

It's called priority paralysis (at least in my world). I just do the first thing, and then the next thing, and somehow the rest of it sits until I'm ready for it.

Do what needs to be done now, then move to the things that need to be done tomorrow--anything else can wait.

Which sounds really stupid in writing, but that's just the way I work.

Angela Cothran said...

Love the quote! I've been dealing with this lately too. My hubby has really stepped in and made up the difference, so I can work on my burning yes :)

Angela Brown said...

That is an excellent quote. I've have to implement the smiling "no" to stick to my guns on getting my story ready for getting it out in October. And if we have our list mostly together, can we still have a cookie? Those look so chocolatey-chip delicious :-)

Charlie Holmberg said...

Much luck on that front!

I don't have to worry a lot of priorities right now since I really don't have many...

Jessie Humphries said...

Food for thought...er, cookies for thought! Yes, I should do a little prioritization!

Delia Moran said...

Congratulations on having your deadlines behind you for the time being! My priorities shift with discouraging frequency. I do try to keep writing in the top three, though. :)

prerna pickett said...

awesome post! It's easy to forget where our priorities lie and get lost in the mundane list items.

Joshua said...

Maybe it's because I don't have deadlines, and that's why I'm not writing. Could that be the missing piece to the puzzle?

Lauren said...

I've been struggling to get my priorities list straightened out. I totally agree with that quote about saying "no" to other things. I'm not very good at saying no. I need to get better. :)

Those chocolate chip cookies look scrumptious. Yummm...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Excellent quote. When I get overwhelmed, a list really helps.

Imogen Elvis said...

This week's list was easy enough to organise. Lots of big priority things working themselves out. Next week? Back to inefficient me. Sounds like it's time to get planning.

Carrie Butler said...

I know how you feel! My lists used to be so neat and tidy... *sniffles*

The Golden Eagle said...

More like the jumbled mess for me. Here's to fixing that!

Love the quote.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I'm afraid I fall into the jumbled mess category... so many things to do, and so unrelated - laundry, school medical forms, visiting MIL in the nursing home, getting the oil changed, etc etc and writing often shoved in around the edges! Writing might be my priority, but the other stuff has to get done... so it's hard! :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

My list is awful. I'm never as efficient as I think I am. I have my 'to do' list on Outlook, so whenever I log in to my email, it's right there staring at me, but it's also very easy to push back deadlines (which for me usually self-imposed ones anyway).

I crossed one off today though!! Whoop whoop :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

When you have a huge to do list, start with the easiest thing to do. Then check it off. The more checks you get the easier it is to finish the whole list. If you do the hardest thing first, you may not get to those other things...you'll fizzle out.

This is a good approach for paying off debt too. Start with the smallest bill and then go up paying them off. Each one you pay off you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Susanne Drazic said...

My priority list is quite jumbled right now.

Nicole said...

Haha - This is exactly where I am, too. I have one (and only one) week where I don't have pressing day-to-day deadlines. I'm scrambling to get as much done as possible...but prioritizing is tough, especially when I'd like to put "Nap" in the #1 spot. ;)

Romance Reader said...

Awesome post and quote!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I am a chronic list maker too. And when that list has no obvious #1 priority spot, I roll the dice and let fate decide where to begin.

Iain said...

No deadlines for the next couple of weeks? I can't work out if that's something to be envious of.
At the moment, I have too many things going on that I'm not getting anything done. I'm just lurching from one event to the next.

Kelley Lynn said...

This is a great post Peggy. I'm a little late so I'll do this this week ;)

Bea Sempere (Denise Baer) said...

Great post, Peggy. I only make grocery lists, that way, it keeps me from hoarding all the foods I'd actually like to get.

To Do lists seem too constricting for me. I need to be able to change my mind...which happens often. :) Hope you had a great weekend.